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"Holocaust Memorial Day will give an opportunity for our towns to reflect" say Medway Liberal Democrats

January 13, 2022 8:47 PM
By Alan Wells/Paul O'neil for Medway liberal democrats

National Holocaust Day 27th Jan 2022Thursday 27th January 2022 marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, every year on that day Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place, a day that will give an opportunity for people from our towns and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2022 is 'One Day' - a day that we can put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today's world mean we must remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility. Rapid technological developments, a turbulent political climate, and world events beyond our control can leave us feeling helpless and insignificant. The utterly unprecedented times through which we are living currently are showing the very best of which humanity is capable but also - in some of the abuse and conspiracy theories being spread on social media - the much darker side of our world as well.

Paul O'neil, Diversity Officer for Medway Liberal Democrats said, " As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

One Day - the theme of this years Holocaust Memorial Day allows us to think and be alert to the signs and symptoms of discrimination and prejudice in the modern world. We need to continue to remember all those who perished in Nazi Germany and other ethnic and religious genocides across the world. The more we reflect on events of the past, the more we can empathise with others today, and we can take action for a better future.

Two years ago, Medway Liberal Democrats welcomed the Medway Council's adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of Anti-Semitism. The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, is as follows: 'Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.'

We recognise the above definition as an invaluable tool for public bodies to understand how anti-Semitism manifests itself in the 21st century. Last year, Medway held its first 'Pride' in August, a day to celebrate our town's diversity, the Holocaust saw the persecution of groups that included Poles, Soviets, Roma, political prisoners, disabled people, criminals, Jehovah's Witnesses and those seen as homosexuals.

Liberal Democrats are committed in tackling the appalling rise in hate crimes in all its forms and will continue to fight against prejudice and discrimination, to ensure equality and protection for people of all backgrounds and beliefs. "

ENDS

ADDITIONAL NOTES & LINKS FOR EDITORS:

Find out more from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
https://www.hmd.org.uk/take-part-in-holocaust-memorial-day/ukhmd/

Due to limited research funding, the high death rate of gay men in the camps, and the stigma attached to homosexuality, these victims are often forgotten by the world. Rather than generalising accounts from different groups, as some Holocaust resources tend to, it's essential to highlight more specific experiences in this complex history. other research material that may be of linked interest may include ( N.B stonewall is appoved assocation with LDPLUS )

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/node/127916

https://theconversation.com/lgbtq-history-month-gay-victims-and-survivors-of-the-holocaust-are-often-forgotten-we-need-to-tell-their-stories-154417